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London Duathlon 2013 – getting used to trainers…

| Blog, Cycling Plus | 30/08/2013 14:16pm

Having taken up running earlier this year, BikeRadar staff member and cycling enthusiast Hannah Welham fancied a multisport challenge for 2013, and is now just a couple of weeks away from the London Duathlon

Much to the concern of my Lycra-obsessed colleagues, in February this year I bought my first pair of running shoes in a bid to get off the turbo trainer and outside. With my running fitness at absolute rock bottom, a sharp 20 minutes in the freezing cold was all it took to get me feeling as though I’d been on the bike for a hard hour.

I have to admit that I was sceptical about whether the ‘running bug’ would bite. I thought of cycling as my main sport, and any memories of school cross-country runs weren’t exactly inspiring. Seven months and about 90 miles later, I’m hooked. I ride an 18-mile Bristol to Bath commute about three days a week, running on another three days, and am loving the variation it provides. I’ve also noticed my overall fitness improving a lot faster than it would over a bike-only summer.

After doing a fun 5K Race for Life back in July, I fancied stepping up my training and signing up for another challenge. With happy timing, the lovely people behind the London Duathlon got in touch to see whether I’d be up for taking part in one of their events on Sunday 15 September.

Having never done a run-bike-run event before, I opted for the Super Sprint, which involves 5K on foot and 11K on wheels, followed by another 5K on jelly legs. Sprint (10K/22K/5K), Classic (10K/44K/5K solo or as a team relay) and the now sold-out Ultra (20K/77K/10K) distances are also up for tackling as part of the world’s largest annual duathlon.

The event takes place in west London’s picturesque Richmond Park – with closed roads on the day, the only collisions competitors should have to worry about are with roaming deer, and a quick recce of the Super Sprint route really calmed my nerves about the event. The course is nicely undulating over smooth surfaces, so should live up to its beginner-friendly pitch (the idea is that you complete the splits at your own pace).

The run-up to the event seems to have been really well organised, with race partners RG Active offering training programmes and sessions in Richmond Park and other London locations (sign up at their website). On the day itself, we’re promised on-site bike maintenance from Bike Lab and goodies from sportswear partner Crewroom.

If you’re already a multisport athlete and fancy a last-minute challenge, there’s still time to sign up at londonduathlon.com. And if you already ride but like the idea of adding a pair of trainers to your kit cupboard, the 2014 event will soon be open for entry.

As for my race goals? I’ve been putting the miles in and my Cube Axial WLS GTC Pro long-term bike was built for racing, so I’m hopeful of a decent time. To be honest, though, if I can survive the transitions and have enough energy left for the second run, I’ll be chuffed. Watch this space…

Hannah Welham

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This entry was posted on Friday, August 30th, 2013 at 2:16 pm and is filed under Blog, Cycling Plus. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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